19 Things Only Helplessly Messy People Understand

Parks and Recreation
Parks and Recreation

1. “Cleaning your room” is not a brief, quick thing you do before you leave the house to run errands. It’s not something you decide to do on a whim, or something you ever randomly get the urge to do. Rather, it takes planning. Dedication. Hours of your time. Sweat. A lack of fear about dust bunnies. 

2. You’re not like other people, who clean their room whenever they “feel like it.” You avoid cleaning your room like the plague. You leave your clothes everywhere and your bed unmade and papers all over your desk, without thinking twice about it.

3. And when you finally do clean your room, it’s somehow messy again in less than 24 hours. It actually feels like you left the room and then came back and someone else destroyed it, or that you messed it up in your sleep. Because there’s no way that this disaster happened right in front of your eyes, without you even noticing what you were doing.

4. The vision of clutter and messiness and clothes all over the floor has become so natural to you that you almost feel more nervous when your space is clean. You’re so used to walking into a wave of chaos, that when you don’t walk into it, you’re temporarily shocked each time.

5. Your messiness is not stationary. It travels with you wherever you go – hotels, your parents’ house, your significant other’s place.  Within five minutes, you’ve ruined whatever peace and serenity was there previously.

6. …It’s like you’re the personification of the Tazmanian devil.

7. Your idea of “straightening up” is picking up all of your clothes and laying them on your bed or your desk chair. Basically, you just move piles of mess from one area of your room to another and consider that your version of “cleaning.”

8. Usually, when you do laundry, everything spends a couple days in the basket after it’s all been washed and you just keep picking clothes out of it until you finally, finally force yourself to put things away.

9. …and putting things away takes at least two hours, because in order to bribe yourself to clean, you allow yourself to have a Netflix marathon on in the background. Which results in you stopping every five seconds to watch at least ten minutes of your show before you get up and start cleaning again.

10. You don’t understand how some people need to clean in order to feel relaxed and calm. All you need is a great movie. Or some wine. Or some Xanax. Or a good book. Basically, anything that involves sitting.

11. If your place is even mildly habitable when your friends come over, they usually say something like “Wow, this place is looking good!” Even if, compared to most other people’s places, it’s a complete clusterfuck.

12. Your messiness does not limit itself to places or locations. It also exists in pretty much any workbag or purse or coat pocket that you own. It is not uncommon for you to reach into one of these things and find a receipt from eleven months ago.

13. If you have roommates who are particular about how clean you guys keep your place, your version of being a good roommate is basically trying to avoid the public areas at all costs and contain all of your mess to your room, if possible.

14. When said roommates go away for the weekend, the place falls into complete shambles and you spend the two hours before they get home running frantically around your apartment or house, trying to make it look like nothing happened at all.

15. You never think to do the type of cleaning that other people think to do, like Swiffering under the couch or wiping out the drawers in the refrigerator. If everything that you can visibly see looks okay, you pretty much forget about everything else.

16. Whenever you decide to have a major purge day, in which you attempt to organize your room and try to get rid of clutter, you end up just making more of a mess, because usually you come across something that you haven’t seen in a while or something that distracts you. The next thing you know, you’ve spent two hours looking through a box of old pictures and now you’re too tired to keep de-cluttering.

17. If you had it your way, “spring cleaning” would just mean that you wipe down the counter with some 409 and call it a day.

18. Some people try to tell you that your car is too messy. You prefer to think that you’re just fully prepared for any situation. Need something to spit your gum into? Here’s this old receipt. Thirsty? There’s a water bottle in the backseat that’s been waiting to be finished for about three weeks.
 
19. You meant to start cleaning your room twenty minutes ago, but you accidentally opened your computer and pulled up fifteen different tabs with posts and articles that you want to read instead. Oops. TC mark

Kim Quindlen

I'm a staff writer for Thought Catalog. I like comedy and improv. I live in Chicago. My Uber rating is just okay.

Trace the scars life has left you. It will remind you that at one point, you fought for something. You believed.

“You are the only person who gets to decide if you are happy or not—do not put your happiness into the hands of other people. Do not make it contingent on their acceptance of you or their feelings for you. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if someone dislikes you or if someone doesn’t want to be with you. All that matters is that you are happy with the person you are becoming. All that matters is that you like yourself, that you are proud of what you are putting out into the world. You are in charge of your joy, of your worth. You get to be your own validation. Please don’t ever forget that.” — Bianca Sparacino

Excerpted from The Strength In Our Scars by Bianca Sparacino.

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